Thamsanqa Moyo is perhaps one of Zimbabwe’s brightest musical hopes. She has a sultriness and musicality that defies her 19 years. A solid future in pop music is built on talent, looks, single-minded focus, connections and chutzpah. Trading as Tamy, the young songstress is angling for the big time and if she can guard against an overblown ego, she can scale the heights.
Comparisons to the late award-winning Zimbabwean legendary singer Chiwoniso Maraire are common. But the comparison, while flattering, can be a trap for the artiste. Chiwoniso was a world music artiste. Moyo is a bona fide pop artiste. She and her handlers will have to decide on her musical path. One thing for sure is that she has attracted the attention of the likes of Lance Stehr, a notable South African music impresario and boss of Ghetto Ruff records, among other musicians.
IndependentXtra’s Admire Kudita snagged an interview with rising talent Tamy (TM) to discuss her career on the back of her hot new music video Ndyeke:
AK: Just seen your video of Ndyeke and it is looking great . . . like a statement of intent. Are you looking beyond Zimbabwe?
TM: Thank you so much. Yes I am looking towards pushing not just my video, but my craft out of Zimbabwe. I want to expand my territory and continue to grow.
AK: Is the single off an album?
TM: I’m still in the process of perfecting material. I have been working on plans of releasing an album. I definitely do have, but not anytime soon. So it’s safe to say it is just a single.
AK: How do you fancy your chances of breaking through? Are you planning on doing this full time given the challenges?
TM: I’m a workaholic and I am driven by the need to succeed. I believe anyone who respects their craft and puts time and effort is most likely to succeed. I believe there are very high chances of major breakthrough anytime from now. I just have to stay focussed.
AK: Is there a fallback plan?
TM: Sorry come again.
AK: Do you have a fallback plan should things not work out?
TM: I never plan on things not working out. I’m confident in what I am doing and that’s the mindset of a winner. However, I have other things I am doing. I am definitely going to university this coming year.
AK: Okay nice to hear that you are planning on getting an education as well. When you first appeared on the horizon, there was excitement and comparisons to the late Chiwoniso Maraire, how did you feel about that and how would you describe your music and its influences?
TM: First of all, it was something I didn’t see coming, considering the amazing artiste Chiwoniso was. But I am rather happy and humbled to see people associate me with such a big name. My music is diverse and different. It’s a fusion of all genres with a touch of afro music. I am also influenced by so many great artistes from Chiwoniso, Sam Mtukudzi, Beyonce, Brandy to Lira . . . so many different and great artistes.
AK: Word on the street is that Lance Stehr of Ghetto Ruff entertainment was at some point interested in you and, in fact, offered a deal. What happened? I remember a press conference at which he mentioned his intentions of signing you.
TM: I’m not at liberty to say much, but Lance and I are working together as of now. If need be to give out more information on the relationship I will tell u.
AK: So what’s the deal with Lance? Are you signed to him as an artiste?
TM: I cannot say much at this point, but we are working together.
AK: Are you his artiste, yes or no?
TM: Sorry, as I mentioned earlier, I am not at liberty to say and I’d appreciate if you respected my decision not to (answer).
AK: Answering my questions is a good idea nonetheless. Journalists will ask even harder questions in the future. Okay moving on, what sort of musical career do you envisage for yourself? Is there an artiste out there, whose career represents your ideal model?
TM: I have so many, with the full package being Beyoncé. She managed to capture the masses and still remain in control of her craft. She is hardworking, goal-driven and humble.
AK: Can you take me through your process as a creative? Do you write your own material? And if so, what subject matter inspires you the most?
TM: I simply capture the moment. If I am feeling inspired and hearing something in my head, I put pen and paper together instantly. If not accessible, I just use my phone. And yes I write my songs. The subject matter that inspires me the most has to be perseverance and pushing on. It’s because it’s an everyday battle worldwide and for me as well. So I use music to speak to not just the world, but myself as well.
AK: Do you wish to be a world music artiste or a pop artiste?
TM: World music artiste.